A new lease on life and chance to help others

Bryson Quinney is pictured with the Donate Life Wyoming license plate he helped get approved following his own heart transplant. COURTESY PHOTOS/Donor Alliance/Heather Burke

Wyoming Donor License Plate available

LYMAN — Bryson Quinney, Lyman, received a new lease on life and the chance to grow and play like a normal boy when he received his heart transplant some time ago.

This transplant didn’t come easy, and he was on the list for a donor for some time before he received his heart transplant. But the outcome has been tremendous for Bryson and his parents, Eric and Jennylin Quinney.

Bryson is 17-years-old and a junior at Lyman High School. He is now very active in school…“lives a full life…and is a normal, healthy teenager,” Eric said. When he was in the seventh grade, Bryson had to carry an oxygen tank to school every day.

“The transplant gave me a new lease on life,” Bryson said last Friday, Jan. 19. As a freshman I played football, and I played baseball last summer.”

When looking to the future, Bryson said he wanted to be a firefighter, especially in Colorado. Plagued with health problems so much of his life, Bryson can look at and move into the future with minimal problems.

The Quinney family, with the help of state legislators – Wyoming State Senator Wendy Schuler and Wyoming State Representative Jon Conrad – have done the work behind the scenes so Wyoming now offers a Donate Life Wyoming license plate, available this month for 2024 plates. They are also working with Donor Alliance to get the word out about this program and the local donation need in Wyoming.

Bryson was born with a hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare congenital heart defect, which meant Bryson was born with half a heart, according to his father, Eric. Bryson had underwent three open heart surgeries before he was 3-years old. By the time he was 12-years-old, Bryson had also developed liver problems as his heart defects damaged his liver so he was put on the heart-transplant list in 2019. In March 2020, Bryson went to the hospital for the transplant, but it was determined the heart was not a good match for Bryson.

This resulted in Bryson spending 50 days in the hospital as he waited for a heart. While there, Bryson made friends with another patient his own age, MaKenzie, who was also waiting for a heart for a transplant. As it turned out, Bryson received his heart for the transplant, but his good friend, MaKenzie, ran out of time and passed away still waiting for an organ to come.

through the Quinney family’s work, working with state legislators and two legislative sessions, there now is a Donor License Plate Program in Wyoming. To maintain the program, the purchase of 500 plates is required. So, according to Eric, the push is to inform people of the program and spread awareness of the plates. He said, even in Bryson’s case, he could need another transplant in 16-18 years as this heart could develop its own complications.

Eric said Bryson’s determination to help others who needed organ transplants was an impetus in the family’s work with the Senator Schuler to develop the legislation for a Donate Life license plate in Wyoming.

“Our son is alive today because of someone’s selfless sacrifice,” Eric said. “We hope others will register to become organ, eye, and tissue donors to save and heal many more lives.”

Heather Burke, Donor Alliance, said, “Currently there are 1,300 people still waiting for an organ donation in Wyoming and Colorado. When people say yes to organ donation, they are saving multiple lives (eight organs and 75 tissue donations).”

To obtain one of the Donor Plates, a completed application shall be mailed to the Wyoming Department of Transportation along with a fee of $30 made payable to WYDOT.


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